The Importance of Sunscreen for Seniors

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Every year when the weather warms up, people start going outside more often. The beaches become full, people start their gardens for the year, some people even enjoy walking around their neighborhood every day. It’s common to see people rubbing sunscreen on their skin at the beach, but how many people think to apply sunscreen when they’re heading out to shop, or go for a walk through their neighborhood?

Some startling statistics about the sun and skin cancer:

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage skin in 15 minutes.
In the United States alone, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer. (1)
When skin becomes tan, that’s the body indicating it has been injured by ultraviolet rays.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. (2)
In 2012 there were 67,753 people diagnosed with melanomas of the skin (39,673 men and 28,080 women). (2)
In 2012 9,251 people died from melanomas of the skin (6,013 men and 3,238 women). (2)

The sun poses a serious threat to everyone who fails to protect their skin appropriately, and it’s even more dangerous to your aging mom and dad. When people get older, their skin thins and becomes fragile. This article presents 4 tips that will help keep your parent’s skin protected from damaging ultraviolet rays.

1. Sunscreen should always be applied whenever your parent leaves the home. It’s important to apply that sunscreen to their face and any parts of the body that will be exposed to the sun’s rays. The CDC suggests sunscreen be a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ protection. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.

2. Your parent should never sunbathe. Even with sunscreen, sunbathing should be avoided.

3. Help your parent to choose clothes that will help protect their skin, but not cause them to be hot while outside. Sunglasses and hats are also good protection against the sun.

4. When outside, your parent should stay in the shade as much as possible. Even with the precaution of sunscreen, shade, especially at midday, will help keep them protected.

If you live somewhere that has a winter, the coming of spring and summer is always a cause for celebration. Your mom and dad can celebrate too. With knowledge of how dangerous the sun can be and precautions added to their home care, there’s no reason spring and summer can’t be enjoyed by your entire family.

(1) Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report 2015. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2015.
(2) U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2015.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home Elder Care in Sunrise FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.